A drug dealer died during a police raid on his Perth home after swallowing his cocaine stash, an inquiry has heard.
Stuart Sandeman, 37, was reportedly spitting out what looked like red cocaine moments before his death at his flat on Struan Road on May 6 2011.
At Perth Sheriff Court on Monday, a fatal accident inquiry into the death heard Mr Sandeman was seen to spit out a red powdery substance while officers tried to handcuff him during the bust.
Detective Sergeant Robert Prudom, then of Tayside Police drugs branch, said the force received information Mr Sandeman was dealing drugs from his home address.
During the raid he and another officer used a two-man battering ram to knock down the door of Mr Sandeman’s flat and gain entry.
After detaining three men within the living room, Mr Prudom stated he heard a police constable shouting from within the house that someone had swallowed drugs.
A pair of constables pulled Mr Sandeman to the living room door, shouting orders for him to spit the suspected drugs out.
Mr Prudom, who described Mr Sandeman as “tall and extremely fat”, said: “Due to his size they had little control of him. Because of that he fell to the ground.
“Officers were shouting at him to spit out the drugs and he was kicking out with his legs. He was shouting he was eating a bacon roll and there wasn’t any drugs.”
Mr Prudom said officers needed to use three sets of handcuffs on Mr Sandeman, known as Big Sandy, because he was so large.
“I could see him spitting out a red powdery substance,” he said. “I initially thought it was red cocaine. It wasn’t a natural colour for the cocaine to be.”
Mr Prudom ordered an ambulance, adding: “He went from being obstructive to passive.
“His health deteriorated very quickly. There was a loss of consciousness and we couldn’t find a pulse.”
Officers attempted to carry out CPR and emergency service personnel had to request a second ambulance because of the seriousness of Mr Sandeman’s condition.
At 4pm on May 6 2011, just 45 minutes after the police raid began, Mr Sandeman was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy discovered Mr Sandeman had traces of cocaine within his stomach contents.
Mr Prudom, who revealed he had been involved in “multiple hundreds” of drug busts, added: “I have thought about it every day since and I don’t think I would have done anything differently.”
The fatal accident inquiry continues.